Following Professor Sprout’s instructions, the Slytherin and Hufflepuff students began to equip themselves individually.
Wearing a four-layer mask over his face made breathing difficult.
They all donned Dragon leather gloves before following Professor Sprout into the greenhouse.
Finally, they were able to approach this dangerous flower.
Though beautiful, once its dangers were understood, no one dared to appreciate its beauty.
“Groups of four, everyone. Watch out for the poisonous tendrils over there. They’re growing teeth!” Professor Sprout warned, giving a firm pat to a crimson plant with spikes inching toward a student from Hufflepuff.
“It’s alright, don’t be afraid,” Professor Sprout reassured her. “Pay attention to differentiating between the stamens and pistils, and protect the flowers while brushing the pollen. Avoid damaging…”
Pollination was a delicate process. The boys struggled, while the girls excelled.
By the end of the lesson, everyone was sweating and covered in mud.
Following Professor Sprout’s guidance, they removed their layers of masks.
After a quick shower, the Slytherin students hurried to the Transfiguration classroom.
Their second class of the morning was Transfiguration.
Matthew had anticipated a more serious atmosphere in the Transfiguration class.
To his surprise, when he arrived at the classroom, “Professor Severus Snape” was engaged in a friendly conversation with a group of Ravenclaw students.
There was no trace of pretense in his demeanor.
This left Matthew both surprised and more perplexed about his true identity.
As the bell rang, Slytherin students, particularly the girls, had not yet arrived.
Only Millicent Bulstrode was present.
Due to the effects of the Herbology class, most of them needed to shower during the “break time.”
Among the girls, bathing was typically a more extended affair.
It was five minutes past the start of the class when Agnes Lestrange, Pansy Parkinson, and Daphne Greengrass arrived.
Matthew sneakily observed “Professor Snape,” whose expression remained impassive.
“What’s going on?” His brows furrowed slightly as he addressed the tardy girls. “This is your first Transfiguration lesson!”
The girls hastened to explain that they had gotten filthy during the Herbology class, necessitating a shower in the classroom.
Matthew had expected “Professor Snape” to react angrily, yet he responded with more composure than anticipated.
“I see…” He nodded thoughtfully. “I will discuss this with Professor Sprout and suggest she allocate a few extra minutes for you during Monday’s Herbology class… Now, take your seats.”
The girls breathed sighs of relief and settled down.
Observing “Professor Snape,” Matthew’s doubts deepened.
Transfiguration was challenging, especially since they had not received comprehensive and systematic instruction during the previous semester.
Many students struggled with the coursework.
In the previous semester’s final exam, most first-year students had scored lower marks in Transfiguration.
Now, their task was to transform a beetle into a button—a feat more complex than the polymorphism they had learned before.
“Transfiguration is a highly intricate and delicate form of magic,” Professor “Snape” began, echoing the opening words of Professor Troka a year ago. “And in many instances, it can be dangerous. Some accomplished wizards even employ Transfiguration for combat, making their opponents’ defenses ineffective…”
Suddenly, Matthew recalled President Grindelwald’s duel with Morgana the Black Witch.
Indeed, Professor Grindelwald’s Transfiguration skills played a pivotal role in securing their victory.
However, Professor “Snape” approached Transfiguration from a different angle than Professor Trocar.
“Caution is undoubtedly vital during Transfiguration. It prevents errors.”
“However, relying solely on caution will only lead to a lack of progress… Remember, creativity is paramount in Transfiguration.”
Professor “Snape” concluded without hesitation.
“The transformation process is beautiful, as each instance of Transfiguration is an act of creation. Do not halt due to danger, and do not fear transformation.”
“To become true masters of Transfiguration, you must confront challenges…”
Evidently, Professor “Snape” possessed genuine talent in the field.
His perspective, however, diverged from that of Professor Trocar.
Still, Matthew refrained from pondering his true identity and instead focused on taking diligent notes of every word spoken.
Afterward, Professor “Snape” guided them through transforming beetles into buttons.
As he allowed them to practice independently, the classroom quickly became chaotic.
Many students struggled, their beetles evading their wands and darting about.
Matthew, however, succeeded.
Just before the end of the class, a small button appeared before him.
The lesson concluded without any assigned homework, leaving the students somewhat uneasy.
“Professor Snape is quite amiable!” Matthew deliberately took his time cleaning up as he heard Draco and others discussing while packing their things.
By the time they left, only Professor “Snape” and Matthew remained in the classroom.
“Come along, Mr. Wickfield. I need to lock up,” Professor Snape called from the doorway.
“I apologize, sir!” Matthew swiftly gathered his belongings and hurried out of the classroom.
After hesitating, he decided to ask, “Professor, you graduated from Slytherin, just like us, right?”
As Professor “Snape” locked the door, he shook his head without hesitation.
“Absolutely not. I graduated from Gryffindor.”
With that, he walked away.
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